Identity Theft and Fraud Online – Are You A Target?
According to a MyFico.com report, 8% of Identity Theft and Fraud happens online – mostly by actions that you allow (visiting a bad website, not paying attention to what you install on your computer, and giving the Nigerian Price your bank account informaiton). Yikes, right? While a large part still happens offline, 1 in 11 cases are from online breeches of your information.
Identity Theft and Fraud Online – Prevention
I’ve gone through several websites to collect the best tips for your online identity theft protection. Click the link at the top of each section to read more about the tips.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi spots – If you log in at Starbucks, I can see your computer and probably access your private information.
- Protect against malware by using sandboxing – This is a new concept, so check out the website for more information.
- Don’t share too much online – Can someone answer your bank’s challenge questions by visiting your facebook page? Oh, its your birthday….let me take note of that.
- Opt out of 3rd party tracking cookies – You can set your browser to opt out of all third-party tracking cookies.
- Treat your cell phone as computer – Cell phone viruses are no longer a hoax (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_phone_virus)
- Only do business with credible online companies
- Look for the httpS – Looking for the (S) at the end of http on a web page means that your data is secure.
- Use an alternative email for online purchases – This cuts down on spam.
- Avoid using debit cards online – If a hacker has your debit card, they have your bank account.
- Use one credit card for online purchases – Ask the bank to provide a low limit such as $200.
- Vary your passwords – Don’t allow online sites to remember your passwords and account numbers.
- Opt out of people search sites – Go to as many as your can and opt out.
- Close old accounts – Come on, do you really need that old MySpace account?
- Send emails that self destruct – This message will self-destruct after 30 seconds….Yes it is real!
- Using strong passwords is one of the best actions you can take to protect your privacy online. Passwords should be a minimum of 7 characters and use a combination of (at least 3 of the four) upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and special characters.
You can avoid a disaster that will take 20-40 hours of your time to fix by being careful and taking a few protective steps. Follow the 14 steps above for better protection.
Do you have any tips to add to the list? Let us know your tips in the comments section.
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- How the Hell Did They Steal My Credit Card - What To Do And How To Prevent It
- How Can I Get a Credit Report? - A Step-by-Step Guide to Requesting Your Experian Credit Report